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The Cascades (Cascades Fountain and Sparks Foundation County Park)

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Cascades Fountain and Sparks Foundation County Park
1931–1932, Ronald E. Sargent, engineer. Brown Rd. and Randolph St.
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

The Cascades is a spectacular hillside display of sixteen artificial waterfalls and of paired fountains in three oval reflecting pools. These are bathed with changing multicolored lights synchronized to music and are flanked by three sets of wide steps. Inspired by the water fountains in Barcelona, Spain, industrialist and Jackson mayor William Sparks created the fountains here with the help of engineers from the Sparks-Withington Company. Mr. and Mrs. Sparks formed the William and Matilda Sparks Foundation to develop the swampy bog land west of their home into a recreation spot. They hired American Park Builders of Chicago to build a golf course, the Cascades, and a neo-Tudor clubhouse. The county acquired the entire 465-acre park in 1943, and it is Jackson's most famous popular cultural attraction.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "The Cascades (Cascades Fountain and Sparks Foundation County Park)", [Jackson, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 183-183.

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